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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 March 2008, 15:53 GMT
Kuwait emir to tackle cabinet row
Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah
Sheikh Sabah has been abroad as the cabinet crisis was brewing
Kuwait's ruler is expected to cut short a trip to Morocco to try to resolve a growing political crisis at home.

There has been speculation Sheikh Sabah may choose to dissolve parliament after all 14 members of the cabinet tendered their resignations on Monday.

Correspondents say constant political clashes between the cabinet and MPs have delayed planned economic reforms.

The sheikh - who is on a private visit - has the power to disband parliament and call early elections.

Otherwise he could accept the resignation of the cabinet, or order a government reshuffle.

Kuwait is struggling to transform itself from an oil-rich welfare state to a diversified economy which will be able to survive when the oil runs out.

Suspension

Parliament called off a session scheduled for Tuesday to pass a law opposed by the government to raise salaries, after the government said it would not attend.

Under Kuwaiti law, fresh elections must be held within 60 days of a dissolution.

But in the past, parliament has suspended for much longer, five years in 1976-81 and six years 1986-92.

The elections in 2006 resulted in a loose alliance of reformists and Islamists securing nearly two-thirds of the seats in parliament.

The country has been enjoying record oil revenues in the last year with the price of a barrel at nearly 100.

In the joint resignation letter, the cabinet complained that MPs were "interfering" in government business and had "disabled the cabinet from carrying out its responsibilities".



SEE ALSO
Kuwait's cabinet offers to resign
17 Mar 08 |  Middle East
Kuwait passes election reform law
17 Jul 06 |  Middle East
Kuwaiti woman minister survives
22 Jan 08 |  Middle East
Country profile: Kuwait
15 Jan 08 |  Country profiles



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